Quartz is one of the most popular kitchen worktop choices for a modern kitchen design. It is a naturally occurring mineral which can be found in igneous, metamorphic and sedimentary rocks.
Quartz is an engineered stone and does not exist naturally in the form it comes to you in, but rather is made up from ground quartz, resins, polymers and pigments to form a kitchen worktop. Quartz is also one of the hardest materials out there, making it a great option for your kitchen.
Some of the other benefits of quartz worktops include:
- Visually appealing
- Incredibly durable
- Ultra-hygienic – preventing build-up of bacteria
- Highly stain resistant
- Naturally scratch resistant
- Easy to maintain
- Environmentally friendly
- Value for money
- Very resistant to cracking
One of the only drawbacks of quartz is the fact it is not completely heat resistant. However, it does have a higher melting point than granite or marble surfaces.
How is quartz made?
The infographic below from CRL Quartz Surfaces shows the process by which quartz is made which includes:
- Raw quartz material is crushed and blended with polymer resin
- The mixture is poured into a mould of a worktop
- This is the vacuumed to remove air and compressed with the pressure of 100 tonnes
- The slabs are then cured in a kiln to solidify the mixture
- Finished slabs are then polished to leave a glossy finish
Quartz can be found all over the world, but the 2 largest natural quartz mines are located in Arkansas and Brazil. You can see a huge variety of quartz colour shades and further information about the quality of quartz here.
So, how can you best look after your quartz worktops?
1. Use warm water and soap to clean your quartz worktops
Using just warm soapy water to clean your quartz will help preserve your worktops.
You should never use strong chemical products on quartz surfaces including bleach! These products can affect the sealant which protects the surface. Simply using water and soap will ensure that this sealant is protected.
Other products to avoid include:
- Highly acidic cleaning supplies
- Anything containing lemon, ammonia, bleach, wax or polish
You should also note never to use abrasive scouring pads or scrubbing brushes on your quartz. Try to stick to a soft microfibre cloth or kitchen roll.
2. For stain removal – stick to a diluted vinegar and water solution
It is important that this should be diluted as pure vinegar alone could cause discolouration over time. However, using vinegar to remove stains works by using the natural acid in vinegar to get deep into the quartz surface, removing stains and built-up bacteria.
Vinegar is also very effective for eliminating mineral deposits left behind from hard water. As well as being a great odour remover if you have been cooking with strong smelling foods or spices.
After doing a deeper clean with vinegar to remove stains, you should go over the area again with your soapy water mixture to remove the vinegar, ensuring you do not do any long-term damage.
3. Daily quartz cleaning routine
Although quartz is relatively maintenance free compared to other worktop surfaces like solid wood, it still requires some cleaning. Making sure you clean your quartz every day and remove dust, crumbs and liquids is essential to keep your quartz looking brand new.
It is also important to clean up spills straight away to ensure the spilt substance cannot do more damage to the worktops. If you leave a spill for too long it could cause a stain, especially if the liquid is particularly pigmented e.g., red wine.
4. Avoid using sharp knives or utensils directly on your quartz surface
Despite the fact quartz surfaces are difficult to scratch, being careless with sharp or abrasive objects can lead to scratches on the surface.
This is why it is important to always use a chopping board when preparing food and avoid using metal utensils directly on the worktop surface.
If there is a stubborn food stain dried onto your quartz, you should use a plastic utensil to remove this. Never using a sharp knife to remove these types of stains to avoid scratches or chips.
However, if you do scratch your quartz it is possible to fix this! For a light scratch you can gently buff this out using a grinder with a buffing pad. This should be done with a light pressure and evenly spread over the surface. Too much pressure can make it worse.
If the scratch is deep enough to catch a nail, you will likely need this to be filled. Using a resin filler, you can fill cracks and scratches in your quartz, however it may be tricky to get an exact colour match. Once filled you will have to buff the quartz until it is smooth again.
If you do need to repair your quartz it is always best to call a professional for advice before trying to resolve it yourself.
5. Try to avoid putting hot pans directly on your quartz worktop
Quartz can withstand mild heat, however a really hot pan or dish could cause damage. This is because the quartz material is mixed with a resin which can only withstand temperatures up to about 150 degrees.
As well as this, a sharp difference in hot and cold could also cause damage. To avoid these issues, you can invest in a hot pad which is designed to withstand the heat, ensuring that you do not damage your quartz worktop unnecessarily.
Caring for your quartz is pretty straight forward due to its natural durability compared to other worktop surfaces. It is important to note that despite its expensive price tag, quartz can last longer than other worktop surfaces and even add value to your home!
If you treat your quartz with care it is likely to last you at least 15 years before a replacement is required, with some quartz manufacturers providing a lifetime guarantee because the issues arising with quartz are unlikely.
If you are thinking about quartz for your next kitchen, check out our website and give us a call.